(By authority conferred on the secretary of state by section 794c of Act No. 116 of  
the Public Acts of 1954, being S168.794c of the Michigan Compiled Laws)  
R 168.771 Definitions.  
Rule 1. (1) As used in these rules:  
(a) "Absent voter ballot card" means a ballot card attached to a backing that aids a  
voter to punch out the scored positions on the ballot card.  
(b) "Accuracy test" means a test conducted to determine that the program and the  
computer being used to tabulate the results of the election count the votes in the  
manner prescribed by the act.  
(c) "Act" means Act No. 116 of the Public Acts of 1954, as amended, being  
S168.1 et seq. of the Michigan Compiled Laws, and known as the Michigan  
election law.  
(d) "Approved computer" means a manufacturer model which has been  
approved by the board of state canvassers to tabulate ballot cards in this state.  
(e) "Ballot card" means a data processing card approved by the board of state  
(f) "Ballot label assembly" means the assembled unit containing ballot labels and  
(g) "Certifying board" means a board consisting of not less than 2 members of  
differing political party preference which certifies the precinct results on election  
(h) "Chad" means the scored rectangular portion of the ballot card which is punched  
out of the ballot card by the voter when casting a vote.  
(i) "Combination ballot card and write-in ballot" means  
ballot card with a  
separate card attached to it by perforation and which contains instructions and  
spaces for write-ins. The write-in portion shall be of a size other than that of the ballot  
(j) "Computer" means 1 or more pieces of automatic tabulating equipment which  
examines, tabulates, and counts votes recorded on ballot cards or magnetic tapes and  
prints results.  
(k) "Console log" means a listing of the computer responses  
instructions and of instructions to the computer by the operator.  
(l) "Correction tape" means a tape designed solely for use in correcting errors on  
data processing cards.  
(m) "Demonstration ballot card" means a ballot card of a distinctive color used  
to instruct voters on the use of the voting device. The card shall have the word  
"DEMONSTRATION" printed or stamped on it.  
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(n) "Demonstrator model" means a voting device on which voters are  
instructed in the use of the device.  
(o) "Duplicate ballot card" means a ballot card on which the word  
"DUPLICATE" is printed, stamped, or written and which is used to transfer a voter's  
valid selections from the original ballot card.  
(p) "Edit listing" means a listing showing the names, rotation sequence, and ballot  
position numbers for each candidate and proposal as they appear in the program for each  
(q) "End card" means a data processing card which instructs the computer that all  
ballots of a precinct have been counted.  
(r) "Header card" means a data processing card which contains the necessary  
data to identify a precinct to the computer. A header card may be an end card for the  
preceding precinct.  
(s) "Mask" means a piece of material with defined areas for each voting position,  
into which holes are punched corresponding only to the voting positions appearing on  
the ballot label.  
(t) "Overvote" means a combination of votes, including write-in votes, which  
exceeds the number for which the elector is entitled to vote.  
(u) "Program" means the operating instructions for a computer by which it  
examines, counts, tabulates, and prints the results of the votes cast on a ballot card.  
(v) "Receiving board" means a board consisting of not less than 2 members of  
differing political party preference which receives the sealed transfer case from the  
precinct election inspectors.  
(w) "Receiving station" means a site which is located at a building or place other  
than where the counting center is located.  
(x) "Self-contained voting station" means a unit containing  
voting device  
having curtains on not less than 3 sides and which, when assembled, creates an  
individual voting station.  
(y) "Specialized computer" means  
constructed primarily for the purpose of tabulating ballots and printing results.  
(z) "Spoiled ballot" means a ballot card which has been returned by a voter and  
for which a new ballot card has been issued.  
(aa) "Template" means a piece of material containing precisely located holes,  
conical in shape and positioned so that a stylus tip can penetrate only the scored areas  
of the ballot card.  
(bb) "Transfer case" means a metal container used for transporting and storing  
voted ballot cards. The container shall be capable of being sealed with a metal seal and  
be approved in the manner ballot boxes are approved pursuant to section 24j of the act.  
(cc) "Valid punch" means a punch of a ballot card such that the chad  
completely removed or is hanging by 1 or 2 corners.  
(2) A term defined in the act has the same meaning when used in these rules.  
History: 1979 AC.  
R 168.772 General provisions.  
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Rule 2. (1) The paper ballot procedures in the act shall be applicable in elections in  
which electronic voting systems are used, except where superseded by specific  
provisions of the act or these rules.  
(2) A precinct in which electronic voting systems are used shall not contain  
more than the number of registered voters permitted by the act in a precinct using voting  
(3) Where the board of county commissioners provides for the purchase and use  
of an electronic voting system in a county, the county clerk shall have custody of the  
devices and be responsible for their maintenance, repair, and preparation for  
(4) Where the legislative body of a city, township, or village provides for the  
purchase and use of an electronic voting system, the clerk of the city, township, or  
village shall have custody of the devices and be responsible for their maintenance,  
repair, and preparation for elections.  
(5) If a county owns the voting devices and the election is an election at which state  
or county offices or proposals are to be voted upon, or an election at which state,  
county, and local offices are to be voted upon, the county election commission shall  
provide programming and computer time and furnish the necessary supplies, including  
(6) If a county owns the voting devices and the election is an election at which only  
local offices and proposals are to be voted upon, the county election commission  
shall provide programming and computer time and furnish the necessary supplies,  
including printing, and the local unit shall reimburse the county for the costs of the  
supplies; or the local unit may agree with the county that the local unit shall  
perform the functions required by this rule to be performed by the county.  
(7) If a city or township owns the voting devices and the election is an election at  
which state or county offices or proposals are to be voted upon, or an election at  
which state, county, and local offices and proposals are to be voted upon, the city  
election commission shall provide the devices, programming, and computer time, and  
the county election commission shall provide ballot cards, ballot envelopes, and the  
printing of the ballot labels. A city or township and a county may enter into  
mutual agreement that the county shall provide programming or computer time, or  
(8) If a city or township owns the voting devices and the election is an election at  
which only local offices and proposals are to be voted upon, the city or township  
election commission shall provide the devices, programming, computer time, ballot  
cards, ballot envelopes, and the printing of ballot labels. A city or township and a  
county may enter into a mutual agreement that the county shall provide programming  
or computer time, or both.  
(9) A village or school district may contract with a city, county, or township for  
the use of voting devices, programming, and computer time.  
(10) Notwithstanding any other provision of these  
commissions of local units of government may enter into a mutual agreement for the  
joint use of a program and computer. The agreement shall state which local unit has  
control of the programs and computer. An agreement may be made with the county  
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election commission stating control of the program and computer shall be vested in the  
county clerk.  
(11) For the purpose of these rules, when a school election is conducted and the  
school district is supplying the program, the term "election commission" means the  
secretary and president of the school board and the superintendent of the school  
History: 1979 AC.  
R 168.773 Preparation of program.  
Rule 3. (1) A program shall be written so as to accurately tabulate a voter's  
choices for each candidate, office, and measure for which the voter is lawfully  
entitled to vote, in conformity with the act and these rules.  
(2) A program shall include an instruction requiring that 2 identical header cards  
precede the deck of ballot cards for each precinct. The program shall provide that if  
2 identical header cards do not appear in front of the ballot cards of a precinct, the  
counting of ballots for that precinct shall not take place. In programs to be used on a  
specialized computer, 1 header card is required, unless the function of the header  
card is performed by the program.  
(3) An end card shall follow the ballots of each precinct. The program may  
provide that if a header card contains instructions to the computer that all ballots of  
the preceding precinct have been counted, a separate end card is not required. In a  
program to be used in a specialized computer, an end card is not required.  
(4) A program may be maintained by a generally accepted method, within the  
computer industry, of input or output or a combination of methods.  
(5) Two edit listings shall be prepared and, not less than 3 days before the  
preliminary accuracy test, shall be delivered to the election commission  
responsible for supplying the program.  
(6) The election commission responsible for supplying the program shall provide  
necessary information to the person or company designated to write or prepare the  
(7) The program for an election and a duplicate copy shall be completed and  
delivered to the election commission responsible for supplying the program not less  
than 3 days before the preliminary accuracy test. A duplicate is not required where a  
specialized computer is used.  
(8) If a program is written to be used on a general purpose computer, the person  
or company providing the program shall, at the time the program is delivered, submit to  
the election commission a certificate stating that the program was prepared from all  
relevant input data, describing the  
procedures which were used to determine its accuracy, and stating that the program  
has been written pursuant to the act and these rules.  
(9) The person preparing the program shall submit to the election commission  
responsible for supplying the program instructions containing the information and  
procedures required to operate the program. The election commission shall make  
the instructions available to the computer operators.  
(10) The vote tabulation portion of the program shall be written:  
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(a) To reflect the rotation sequence of the candidates' names and ballot position  
numbers as they appear on the ballot labels in the various precincts.  
(b) To count valid votes cast by a voter for candidates for an office.  
(c) To count valid votes cast by a voter for or against any question.  
(d) So as not to count votes cast by a voter for an office or question if the number  
of votes cast by a voter exceeds the number which the voter is entitled to vote for on  
that office or question.  
(e) To ignore punches in a ballot card in positions where a candidate's name or  
questions do not appear on the official ballot. These punches shall not have an effect  
on the ballot.  
(f) So that the partisan, nonpartisan, and proposal sections of the ballot are  
considered separate sections of the ballot. The action of a voter in 1 section of the  
ballot shall not affect the voter's action on another section of the ballot.  
(11) For a partisan primary election, the vote tabulation section of the program  
shall be written:  
(a) To determine if a voter has cast votes for candidates of more than 1 political  
(b) To determine if a voter has cast votes for a candidate of 1 or more political  
parties and a vote in the "party qualification section" of the ballot.  
(c) To count the votes when they are recorded by a voter for candidates of  
1 political party only where a vote is not recorded in the "party qualification  
section" of the ballot; or to count the vote when it is recorded by the voter for 1  
selection only in the "party qualification section" of the ballot and where a vote is not  
recorded for 1 or more partisan candidates, as in examples 1, 2, 3, and 4.  
Example 1: Count a vote for candidates A and D.  
Example 2: Count a vote for candidates F and G.  
Example 3: Count a vote for party 4.  
Example 4: Count a vote for candidate D.  
Figure for 168.773 (1-2)  
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Figure for 168.773 (3-4)  
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(d) To reject all votes cast in the partisan section of the ballot and the "party  
qualification section" of the ballot if votes are cast for candidates of more than 1 political  
party; or if votes are cast for candidates of 1 or more political parties and 1 or more  
votes are cast in the "party qualification section" of the ballot; or if more than 1 vote is  
cast in the "party qualification section" of the ballot, as in examples 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.  
Example 5: Count no votes.  
Example 6: Count no votes.  
Example 7: Count no votes.  
Example 8: Count no votes.  
Example 9. Count no votes.  
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Figure for 168.773 (5-7)  
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Figure for 168.773 (8-9)  
(12) For a partisan general election, the vote tabulation section of the program shall  
be written as follows:  
(a) A vote shall be counted for each candidate of the political party indicated by the  
voter's straight ticket vote, if any other vote does not appear on the partisan portion of  
the ballot, as in example 10.  
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Figure for 168.773 (10-11)  
Example 10: Count a vote for candidates A and D.  
(b) A vote shall not be counted if the voter has voted more than 1 straight ticket  
vote and another vote does not appear on the partisan section of the ballot, as in  
example 11.  
Example 11: Do not count a vote for candidates of any party.  
(c) When only 1 candidate is to be elected to an office and the voter has voted a  
straight party ticket and voted for individual candidates, a vote shall be counted for  
each of the individual candidates voted for, and for each candidate of the party for  
which the straight party vote was voted and individual votes for candidates of other  
parties were not voted, as in examples 12 and 13.  
Example 12: Count a vote for candidates B and E.  
Example 13: Count a vote for candidates B and D.  
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